Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun,
so must you know pain…. Accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have
always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields….
The Prophet, 1923
Remembering the thing that matters most when we are faced with a tragedy is never an easy thing. We are too often driven by the emotions of the moment when choosing our words or planning the actions we will take as a result of the horrors that were brought before our very eyes. We wonder how it is possible that one person can act with such callous indifference. We speak his name over and over, imprinting it into our brain so as to never forget the tragic events precipitated by one sick and tortured soul, as if we ever could! And we all too often forget! We forget that there are 70 individual lives as well as those of their families and intimate friends, that will be forever changed. And suddenly the number of directly and indirectly impacted people rises into at least a thousand lives that will never be the same. They will never sleep the same way. They will never view a movie exactly the same way. They will never enjoy the buttery taste of popcorn or Jujubees in exactly the same way they once did. All because one person became lost!
Now is not the time to point fingers and lay blame. Now is not the time to question laws and ask what needs to be changed. Now is not the time to think about one lost and tortured soul. Now is the time to rally around those 70 who were directly impacted and the thousand others indirectly affected but who will be the ones left to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, hopes and dreams. Now is the time to ask God’s mercy on the 12 thus far that have been called home to live with him forever more. For I have no doubt that is exactly where they dwell whether they truly knew Him or not. Now is the time to wrap those who were injured and who will forever bear the scars of that day in our arms and lift them up in prayer that they might one day be able to, if not forget, perhaps live for a single moment without reliving and remembering those moments. Now is the time to ask that strength be given to all of those who were less directly affected and yet will remain forever more the support system for those survivors as they struggle to continue on. And now begins the time to remember the family of the one responsible because they will never be thought of the same way by society ever again.
Remember Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest at 6 who started swimming lessons just 3 days earlier. Remember Robb Scott who dived in front of his girlfriend and her brother to save them. Remember Alex Sullivan, the birthday boy and husband whose 1 year anniversary would have been today. Remember 27-year-old Micayla Medek, a spirit filled woman with a joyful heart. Remember John Larimer, a member of the United States Navy and a cryptologist. Remember Jessica Ghawi (known professionally as Jessica Redfield), an established sports blogger with dreams of becoming a sports broadcast journalist. Remember Gordon Cowden who was the oldest at 51. Remember Air Force Reservist, Jesse Childress. Remember Aurora resident Alexander J. Boik. Remember another former member of the Navy, who was planning on re-enlisting, Jonathan Blunk. Remember Rebecca Ann Wingo who worked in Customer Service. And lastly, remember Alexander C. Teves who received his Masters degree in Psychology just a few short weeks ago. They are the names of those who were enjoying an evening out with family or friends. They were all people who should be sharing their Sunday with those they love. They are the ones who should forever remain in our hearts and minds! And in our prayers! Remember!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
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